This site is intended for healthcare professionals
General Practice Notebook
Medical search

sciatica

FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here
You have 3 open access pages.

Sciatica (also known as lumbosacral radicular syndrome, ischias, nerve root pain, and nerve root entrapment) is pain in the distribution of the sciatic nerve, ie felt in the thigh and, most importantly, below the knee (1). A pain that is not felt below the knee is not sciatica. Characteristically sciatica is exacerbated by coughing, straining, sneezing, or laughing (2).

The lifetime incidence of sciatica varies from 13-40% while the annual incidence of an episode of sciatica can be between 1-5% (2).

Sciatica is rarely due to a sciatic nerve disorder. It is usually referred pain, either from the dural sleeve of a lumbar or sacral nerve root, or, from an abnormal joint:

  • dural root pain:
    • intense pain
    • often accompanied by numbness and paraesthesia
  • joint or ligament pain:
    • inconstant pain
    • usually no neurological signs
  • an estimated 5%-10% of patients with low back pain have sciatica
  • annual prevalence of disc related sciatica in the general population is estimated at 2.2%

Reference:

Links:

General Practice Notebook
General Practice Notebook
The information provided herein should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Copyright 2016 Oxbridge Solutions LtdĀ®. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions LtdĀ® receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence. GPnotebook stores small data files on your computer called cookies so that we can recognise you and provide you with the best service. If you do not want to receive cookies please do not use GPnotebook.